Last night I escaped to my garden for a few minutes right before starting the kids’ bedtime routine. The sun was going down, the air was cool, and as soon as I reached for a tomato off my plants the anxiousness of our Days slipped away from me.
As I continued picking my Sun Golds and pruning branches and weeding weeds, I fell into a familiar rhythm of movement and thought – the same rhythm I get into when running or cleaning or cooking – my hands are busy so my mind can process.
It was a peaceful few moments that recharged me.
What I found myself processing through was how my gardens – both the vegetable and flower – were sorely neglected this summer. The water pressure issues with the automatic drip system and technical difficulties with the spigot didn’t help, but I was not as consistent in my love or care for the normally full and lush edgings around my yard.
Gardening had turned into a chore instead of a hobby this summer.
I took on some consulting work recently, which is a radical shift in how I spend my time. A few hours here and there spent on the computer or in a meeting displaces something else, though there were enough inefficiencies in my time management skilz to absorb a lot of this. But still, grocery shopping has been haphazard, meals thrown together, and I feel a general sense of disorientation with my schedule.
I know this will improve as I get into the rhythm of my days, and I realize August probably wasn’t the best time to take on new projects, but in the meantime I feel a little frazzled.
But as I tended to my sad little garden I felt the universe plop back into order. I remembered I’m slow to transition the Big Things in life – more like a semi-truck lumbering to a halt than a sports car screeching to a quick stop – and I needed to give myself time to find my way. I remembered that letting some things go doesn’t mean I’ve failed, but I’ve made choices and rearrange priorities.
And most importantly, I remembered my Identity is not rooted in being a stay-at-home mom, or a work-at-home mom, or a consultant, or a wife, and that tweaking any of these things does not change who I am at my core.
The cartoon pictured above – which is printed on the back of my business cards – was drawn by Hugh at Gaping Void, and it’s the matrix by which I make all decisions concerning home and work. Every time I take on something new, I have to decide where it’s going to fit and what gets shifted to the back burner. If I start to feel frazzled, I know I’m trying to do it all.
So if you happen to catch me freaking out, my friend, feel free to ask if I’ve picked my sliver well.